After an emotional plea by United Federation of Teachers Vice President Evelyn DeJesus (pictured at mic), delegates unanimously approved a Special Order of Business calling for NYSUT to support the Asociacion de Maestros de Puerto Rico and other trade unions in their fight to save public education in Puerto Rico.
“Our brothers and sisters are hurting. I’m hurting and I’m angry. And I want you to be angry!” said DeJesus, a NYSUT Board member who has joined American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to deliver water filters and other essential emergency supplies since Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
On top of Maria, on top of all their pain and suffering, DeJesus said educators in Puerto Rico are now facing the closure of 450 schools. To make matters worse, the island is being further victimized by for-profit corporate executives, privateers and anti-union legislators who are cynically and systematically using this disaster in Puerto Rico to dismantle public education and erode worker rights.
“We’re saying enough is enough, no more!” DeJesus said. “This is inhuman and should not be allowed!”
The special order resolves for NYSUT to work in solidarity with the teachers’ union and other trade unions to find solutions that “advance our shared values of public education and worker rights through collective bargaining.”